...but you can’t take the lab out of the boy!

I’ve recently returned from the US having attended a couple of excellent nursing / genetics meetings (see Maggie’s Phantastic: Phoenix and Philadelphia blog from Nov 26). I came back via New York where I met up with my other half for a short break.

In our previous lives we were both molecular biologists but moved away from the lab environment when we came to Wales and haven’t been close to a ‘test tube or bunsen burner’ in 4-5years. We spent an excellent day at the American Museum of Natural History and as you can see from the photo ended up in the hands-on science lab extracting our own DNA (and probably whatever we’d been eating at lunch!!) from a spit sample. Old habits die hard, and we had a great time. It was lovely to see the awe in the faces of the parents and children who were doing it for the first time.

Extracting DNA in NY

We didn’t do large scale extractions of human DNA very often, but it has to be said, for all the time I spent in the lab I never grew tired of seeing DNA appear ‘as if by magic’ as a big tangled mess of cotton like threads in the ‘test tube’. It was always a reminder of everything we didn’t and still don’t know about our genomes.